Meditation alone is not enough. We also need a guide, and we need a community of fellow practitioners.
Patience also means patience with our self. Not asking, still less demanding, too much of ourselves as fallible human beings, and as fallible practitioners.
At the same time, we are not to give up in our practice, nor to rest on our laurels, nor to abide in a comfortable nest of good feelings. We are on a journey.
Very often we may experience good things in our practice, and wish to stay with them. We find a pleasant nook, a meadow, an arbour half way up the mountain, and decide: this is it, I’ve found all I want from practice. I’ll stay here.
Often in such a situation we may avoid anyone who might nudge us and say, “Not yet – further to go.” Buddha said we need “three treasures” to pursue this path. Meditation alone is not enough. We also need a guide, and we need a community of fellow practitioners.
Here is the reason why…
We are aiming for wholeness, for all around integrity. We want our practice to end up like one of those rolling beans – whichever way it’s pushed, it rolls up right again. It’s super flexible, resistance-free, and quickly self-corrective. It goes whichever way it’s pushed – but turn around and one second later it’s already back on its feet.
Sangha and Dharma – community and teachings. Together they will likely iron out more wrinkles than we care to admit we have. But this all takes time…. Hence the need for virya, the fourth paramita: next time…
Message from Henry taken from our April 18, 2017 newsletter.
Image: Holiday by Antranias, CC0 Public Domain.